Monitoring Blood Pressure With Type 1 Diabetes

Just like you monitor your blood sugar levels, people living with type 1 diabetes should know their blood pressure. With today’s new smartphone apps, wireless technology and travel-size devices, it’s even easier to keep track of your numbers.

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Healthy blood pressure is defined as below 120/80 mmHg and high blood pressure for most people with diabetes is 140/90 mmHg or higher. High blood pressure means your blood is moving through your vessels with too much force. This extra force puts pressure and strain on the heart, damages blood vessels and increases heart attack and stroke risk. Two in three people with diabetes have high blood pressure or take medication to lower blood pressure. It can only be controlled through medicines or changes to diet, exercise and lifestyle. Knowing your blood pressure is the first step.

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Manual blood pressure kits and electronic cuffs have been available in drugstores for years. If you prefer tech gadgets and are willing to spend more money, then measuring your blood pressure with smartphone apps will be right for you. The American Heart Association recommends home blood pressure monitoring to improve control rates. Check out some of the newer blood pressure monitors approved by the FDA to choose from.

FDA-approved blood pressure monitors

Vitagoods Travel Blood Pressure Monitor

The Vitagoods travel blood pressure monitor is designed to be small and lightweight for travel purposes. The monitor fastens onto your wrist with Velcro and with one touch, begins to auto inflate and deflate to take your blood pressure. The device’s memory function stores up to 60 days of readings for tracking purposes. The monitor does not sync up with a smartphone.
Price: $29.99 Check it out on Amazon!

iHealth Feel

iHealth Feel works like the blood pressure monitors you find at the doctor’s office, except just wirelessly. Slip the arm cuff onto your left arm, open the app, and press a button on the side of the device to start it. Originally, the device used a docking station, but it now works through Bluetooth with a smartphone or tablet.
Price: $99.99 Check it out on Amazon!

Blipcare BP Monitor

The Blipcare BP Monitor was the first wireless blood pressure monitor available. It’s not as sleek looking as the other devices, but it’s perfect for those without a smartphone. The device uses your home’s wireless network to upload readings to an online database like Microsoft’s HealthVault that can be viewed on the web.
Price: $159.00 Check it out on Amazon!

Most of these devices provide colorful charts tracking your blood pressure over time. No matter which one you choose, the information can also be integrated into several personal health management tools, including the American Heart Association’s online tracker called Heart360. This online program tracks blood pressure and other vital signs. Once you know your blood pressure reading from your doctor or through a self-monitoring device, you can store the information in this program run by HealthVault. The program also allows you to track your weight, blood sugar, cholesterol, physical activity and medications. All of this information can be shared with loved ones and doctors online or printed out to ensure they are aware of your health status.

The American Heart Association’s My Life Check assessment is also integrated with Heart360. By answering simple questions in the assessment, you can find out more about your heart health and learn about the simple steps you can take to improve it.

Want to learn more about protecting your heart with diabetes? Read “Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease,” “Fight Off Heart Disease With These Five Heart-Healthy Foods” and “Blood Pressure and Diabetes.”

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